Today we got our first look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the upcoming X-Men team film that will transform the franchise in a big way. Marvel fans have been curious about how the sprawling cosmic story of Chris Claremont's "Dark Phoenix Saga" will be changed for the screen - and today we have our first hint of what the film will be doing differently.
In the first-look report on Dark Phoenix that was featured in EW, we get the breakdown about how the X-Men movie version of Phoenix will be born, and how it ties back to her Marvel Comics origin story:
"The X-Men, including Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), are heroes when the film begins and sent up to save some stranded astronauts. But a solar flare hits the X-Jet and all hell breaks loose."
You can probably guess where it goes from there, but X-Men franchise producer and Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg reveals a little more detail about the new Phoenix origin story:
“Jean absorbs those solar flares and then hurls them back out into space,” explains director Simon Kinberg of the sequence shown in the above exclusive concept art. “That’s what triggers, awakens, creates this Phoenix force and voice inside her. What appears to the world to be another heroic victory by the X-Men in saving stranded people in space we realize is the the thing that begins the unraveling of Jean and the unraveling of secrets Charles told her.”
This sequence pictured and described above is a variation on Phoenix's classic Marvel Comics origin. In the original "Dark Phoenix Saga," Jean becomes Phoenix while trying to block dangerous levels of radiation, as the X-Men are riding a shuttle from space back to Earth. When Jean's powers can't weather the storm, she is tapped by the cosmic force of The Phoenix, which creates a body and psyche based on Jean, and takes her place, while placing the real Jean in a stasis cocoon for safety. Eventually, the Phoenix's experiences on Earth (and manipulation by the evil Mastermind) causes the entity to have an emotional meltdown, transforming into the Dark Phoenix.
There's no telling whether or not the Dark Phoenix movie will follow the Marvel Comics origin to the letter, with the big final twist that Phoenix-Jean doesn't ultimately sacrifice herself as Dark Phoenix, but instead awakes from her stasis cocoon at the bottom of a bay. It's but one of several questions about how much of the convoluted Dark Phoenix storyline will make it onto the screen. We also just learned that Jessica Chastain could be fulfilling the Mastermind role in the film, so right now, Dark Phoenix is looking like one of the more faithful X-Men movie adaptations there's been.
The X-Men Movie Universe continues with The New Mutants on April 13th; Untitled Deadpool Sequel on June 1st; and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2nd.